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Maryland Department of Health expands monkeypox vaccine eligibility criteria

September 22nd, 2022 by WCBC Radio

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) announced expanded eligibility for the human monkeypox (MPX) vaccine, allowing vaccine administration to anyone at high risk of MPX infection. The MPX vaccine was previously recommended only for people who had been potentially exposed to MPX in the prior two weeks.

“Vaccination plays a critical role in Maryland’s comprehensive response to the MPX outbreak,” said MDH Infectious Disease Prevention and Health Services Bureau Director Dr. Peter DeMartino. “The new eligibility criteria align with current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and take advantage of the improved supply of the JYNNEOS vaccine. Expanding eligibility will provide greater protection for individuals against MPX virus infection and reduce the risk of spread throughout the population.”

Effective immediately, the expanded criteria for MPX vaccination will include anyone in Maryland who meets any one of the following criteria:

  • Anyone of any sexual orientation or gender identity who has had multiple or unknown sexual partners in the past two weeks, including those considered higher risk: gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, and immunocompromised individuals; or
  • Anyone of any sexual orientation or gender identity who are aware that one or more of their sexual partners from the past two weeks has been exposed to MPX.

Interested Marylanders can visit to pre-register for an MPX vaccine appointment. Pre-registration is for the first MPX vaccine dose only. The recommended second dose will be coordinated for each individual by the first dose provider or local health department. Anyone who already pre-registered, and now meets the expanded eligibility criteria, will be contacted. 

MPX is a potentially serious illness. Anyone with monkeypox symptoms should contact their healthcare provider. Those without a provider or insurance should contact their local health department.

As of Friday, September 16, 2022, MDH reported 609 total positive MPX cases. To date, Maryland has:

  • Received 14,539 vials of JYNNEOS vaccine from the federal government
  • Administered vaccination to more than 5,248 people through 24 local health departments
  • Pre-registered more than 2,800 people interested in being vaccinated

Additional information and resources, including a weekly MPX data summary, fact sheets, and FAQs, are available at